The other day I was stopped in town by a random. Total, complete random stranger. “Do you like chicken nuggets?” was her question (she had no idea who she was talking to – or maybe she did… racial profiling?) “Yeah, I love chicken nuggets,” I replied, trying to hold back undeniable excitement. She later explained that they were doing a taste test in the town hall where I could go and taste and test some chicken nuggets. I heard the sound of alarm bells. Dude I know you love chicken and nuggets and this is a freaking dream come true… but stranger danger man! You don’t know this woman, you don’t know what’s in her nuggets, just say you’ve got a short lunch and can’t make it. “Oh sorry, I’ve only got an hour for lunch…” After a little more pestering we left each other alone and I went to buy my lunch from the shop.
On my way out of the shop I was approached by a man who I’m 90% sure was a colleague of this woman. “Excuse me sir…” he said. I looked in his direction, but not directly at him and pretended I heard nothing. Then, literally within 5 minutes, I’m stopped again by a girl. “Are you looking for any part time or full time work?” This girl looked a little more my age so I obviously dismissed her question as a ruse to try and get my number. “I’ve already got a job,” I replied – which is true.
Following lunchtime the next day, I’m able to make it to the shop without being hassled. It’s on my way out that I’m stopped AGAIN by random number 2 – that man – who I’m sure was going to ask me about whether or not I wanted to taste some chicken nuggets. These must be some special nuggets if they’re so desperate… “Hi, I think I saw you yesterday…” “Sorry I’m not interested…” “I’m here to, are you gonna…” I didn’t stick around to hear what else he had to say.
That felt new. Standing my ground felt new. Felt great. Felt awesome! I wasn’t interested. Whilst I regret I was a little bit rude, I wasn’t going to eat any random chicken nuggets offered to me by a random stranger. Doesn’t matter how nicely presented you are, it’s not happening.
However, I couldn’t help but feel I’d maybe hurt that man by blatantly ignoring him. This is another issue: to a certain extent, I will please people. I am a people pleaser. It comes from not wanting to offend anyone, or cause anyone any grief because I decided to do my own thing. I know it’s stupid. If I’m in your path whilst you’re waking down the street, chances are I’ll move out of your way before you even realised I was in your way. I guess my mind is just very cautious not to offend anyone.
However again, to borrow a phrase, I’m throwing caution to the wind. Recently I was invited to an event that I just did not feel comfortable attending at all. Long story short the event, I believe, conflicted with my beliefs. The thing is, it strongly felt like I was being forced to go and I didn’t have a choice. “Give me a way out God,” I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. As I was told, “hurry up, we’re leaving!” I realised I was going to have to use my words to get my way out. Words I did use, successfully. I got my way out. Whilst things feel awkward and I internally debate whether I’ve upset a few people or not, I know I did the right thing for me. After all it is my life, and I have to make decisions based on the things I feel comfortable doing. I cannot please everyone all the time and I shouldn’t try to. It ain’t healthy. It was good to be the cause of my own freedom (gotta give due credit to Jesus tho). Dare I say, I even feel proud of myself! Reserved, non-offensive, quiet me: Stood. His. Ground. I’m gonna celebrate this for a little while.
Maybe even eat a chicken nugget or 29.